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Research and Quality

The Breast and Endocrine Centre  is committed to quality, and participates in quality activities, research and development to support its activities.


The Breast and Endocrine Centre complies with the Practice Accreditation Standards of the Department of Health and Ageing’s (DoHA) Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme 2010 for the use of portable Ultrasound.

The Safety and Quality Governance Standard has been developed to align with the intent of the Governance for Safety and Quality Standard of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

Accredited until 2025


Clinical Trials and experimental studies with the University of Adelaide

Although androgens are commonly considered to be "male" hormones, women have considerable amounts of circulating androgens which can influence the growth, development and physiological function of numerous organs, including the breast.

Research from the Lab has shown that androgens and the AR are protective against breast cancer - androgens can suppress the growth of breast cancer cells and can inhibit the function of the estrogen receptor (ER), the main driver of breast cancer growth. However, emerging research has found that androgens can have a different effect in breast cancers that lack ER - in these cancers androgens are thought to enhance growth in a manner similar to that observed in prostate cancers.

The Lab's breast cancer research program is further investigating molecular mechanisms of androgen action with particular focus on the anti-estrogenic actions of androgens in ER-positive breast cancers, the role of the AR in ER-negative cancers, and the mechanism of action of the synthetic progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate, a component of combined hormone replacement therapy that is associated with increased breast cancer risk. We are also using a unique tissue culture model to examine the effects of androgens on normal breast tissue.

FACE Trial

Comparison Trial of Letrozole to Anastrozole in the Adjuvant Treatment of Postmenopausal Women With Hormone Receptor and Node Positive Breast Cancer (FACE)

Eligible patients will be postmenopausal hormone receptor- and lymph node-positive females who recently underwent primary surgery for breast cancer. Patients will be randomized to Letrozole (2.5 mg per day for 5 years) vs Anastrozole (1 mg per day for 5 years). Follow up will occur for 5 years after the completion of enrollment for survival and disease status updates.

Now closed.

ART Trial

Initiated a world-first drug trial to try and overcome the side effects of hormonal therapy used

to treat breast cancer. Professor Birrell says that the placebo controlled ART2 study has recruited 65 patients so far of the 90 needed to assess the effectiveness of a combination drug to counter these side-effects. People taking Arimidex™ and experiencing joint pain are eligible to be considered.

ART1 was a safety and efficacy study of oral testosterone undecanoate and Anastrozole in severe anastrozole-induced arthralgia. This trial demonstrated a significant reduction in visual analogue pain scale without significant androgenic side-effects.


An AstraZeneca funded double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral testosterone undecanoate and anastrozole in severe anastrozole-induced arthralgia in breast cancer patients. This trial demonstrated up to a 70% reduction in severe arthralgia. It also demonstrated the safety of higher levels of testosterone needed to induce this therapeutic response. This was achieved without any elevation of serum estradiol.

now closed.